Monday, May 20, 2024

St Patrick’s Day 2024: Parades, events and festivals – what’s on in Ireland’s towns and villages this weekend?

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People are getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day across the length and breadth of the country – find out what’s happening near you using our interactive map

The festivities will include days-long festivals, music, performance, rivalry for the title of ‘shortest parade’ and who knows who will turn up on the streets of the towns and villages of Ireland.

If you’d like to find out what’s happening close to you, click on our interactive map below to find out.

Meanwhile, here are some of the highlights from across the coming days.

While all eyes will be on the capital city, where grand marshal Patrick Kielty will lead the huge spectacle, the smooth-voiced Bobby Kerry will be MC at the altogether more peaceful Dun Laoghaire affair.

The traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Sunday, March 17, and the 52nd Limerick International Band Championship will be held on Monday, March 18.

Offaly’s Tullamore has announced that its parade grand marshal will be none other than former Taoiseach and darling of the county, Brian Cowen.

If you’re looking for something low-key, Curragraigue in County Wexford has laid claim to hosting the ‘smallest, shortest and least well-known parade in the county’. It will feature St. Patrick, a traditional music marching band, maybe a few stray dogs, a vintage tractor, possibly someone from Caim, maybe an American, a cold looking Irish dancer and all going to plan, a fella dressed as a Viking.

Cork city St. Patrick’s Day parade. Photo: Cork City Council

MC for the day in Wicklow town is popular RTÉ News presenter Eileen Whelan, who also took the coveted role in 2022.

Waterford City is going with the theme ‘Seize the Déise’ for its four-day festival. There’ll be gigs, a ‘wobbly circus’ fairground, big sport events on the big screen, arts and crafts, theatre, and leading the parade this year will be All-Ireland finalists, the Waterford Senior Camogie team.

All set for St Patrick’s Day 2024 in Tralee. Photo Domnick Walsh.

Cork boasts no fewer than 35 parades across the county, from Midleton to Clonakilty and every in between. But many lament the demise of the now-defunct Dripsey ‘shortest parade’ of just 30 yards or so.

St Patrick’s Day Parade Bray. Robyn and Holly Doyle

Over in Boherbue, brave young man Marc O’Connor will be grand marshal. Marc (10) was recently the youngest recipient of a Certificate of Bravery at the Oireachtas National Awards for his quick thinking and actions after a car accident on a slippery stretch of roadway en-route to school.

In Kerry’s capital, Tralee, a ‘sensory street’ will provide a welcoming and inclusive viewing experience for individuals with autism. This facility is now a common and very welcome feature of parades all over the country.

Drogheda will celebrate 60 years of St Patrick’s Day parades with a bumper four-day festival.

A three-day festival of free events is taking place in Galway city from Saturday, March 16, to Monday, March 18, celebrating St Patrick’s Day with live music, films, activities and, of course, the annual parade.

The Curragh will host its first St Patrick’s Festival race day on Monday, March 18, as part of a new two-day family event. The race day will become part of the new two-day festival of events in Co Kildare, with a St Patrick’s Day parade taking place the day before.

Limerick City’s three-day festival will see BT Young Scientist and Exhibition Winner 2024, Seán O’Sullivan as the parade Grand Marshal. There’ll also be music, street shows, food, entertainment and a kids’ disco.

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